October ISM Manufacturing Index Reports Softer Growth

The ISM Manufacturing Index fell to 50.1 points in October – down 0.1 point from September’s reading. However, the manufacturing industry is still growing, as readings above 50 indicate expansion. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 7 reported growth in September, consistent with October. Survey respondents expressed concern about currency exchanges causing an impact on their bottom line, but also expressed sentiment that business activity is “acceptable” despite some slowing.

The employment index fell 2.9 points to 47.6, indicating contraction after 5 consecutive months of growth. October’s reading was also the lowest since August 2009. Only 5 of the 18 industries reported growth, while 7 industries, including petroleum, plastics, primary metals and transportation reported contraction.

The index for new orders increased 2.8 points to 52.9, indicating growth for the 35th consecutive month.

Export orders were 47.5 percent in October marking the 5th consecutive monthly decline. Six industries reported growth in export orders, including wood products and manufacturing. Seven industries, including apparel, plastics and primary metals, contracted.

The inventories index fell 2.0 points to 46.5 in October, indicating that raw materials inventories have contracted for the fourth consecutive month.

The price index rose 1 point to 39 in October, indicating that raw materials prices have increased for the 12th consecutive month.

Read the ISM release.